CPI criticises LDF govt over Munnar land encroachment issuetext_fields
Kozhikode: LDF alliance partner CPI Wednesday hit out at the ruling coalition in Kerala for the manner in which it was handling the issue of encroachments on a government land at Munnar in Idukki district.
Speaking to reporters here, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran said he was not aware of the high-level meeting on July 1 called by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to discuss the encroachment issue in Munnar.
"We are not aware of any high-level meeting called by the chief minister. Why should the revenue minister (CPIs E Chandrasekharan) attend a meeting which he is not aware of," he said when asked about whether the minister would attend the meeting.
The LDF would do well to remember that the government is is not run by the CPI(M) alone, Rajendran said.
He said a decision on the matter can be taken only in accordance with the Kerala Land Conservancy Act 1957 and the Kerala Land Conservancy (Amendment) Act, 2009.
On the demand from some quarters for removal of Devikulam Sub-Collector Sriram Venkitaraman, who was in charge of the eviction drive, the CPI leader said it is the governments duty to protect the official.
"Officials cannot be removed as per the demands of parties and the media," he said.
In April this year, the CPI had urged the government to consider a law for Kerala, similar to the one in Andhra Pradesh, with proper punishment for land grabbers.
The partys demand had come against the backdrop of an anti-encroachment drive in Munnar, which ran into a controversy after a 30-foot metal cross was removed from atop a hill on April 20.
Vijayan had expressed strong displeasure over the incident and said the steps taken by the district administration had resulted in "some misunderstanding".